April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin blasted off from the USSR into orbit and set in motion human spaceflight. The Soviets would have additional manned spaceflight successes but the US won the space race to the Moon and hasn't looked back since although that could change with India and China's programs.
His flight was daring and the first so all of humanity should reflect upon and remember his accomplishment.
Read More About It: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/history/features/gagarin/gagarin.html
Sky Guy in VA